War Horse comes to Minneapolis
War Horse, winner of five 2011 Tony Awards including Best Play, makes its Minnesota debut at Hennepin Theatre Trust's Orpheum Theatre, June 12-23, 2013. Hailed by the New York Times as "theatrical magic," this National Theatre of Great Britain production is the powerful story of young Albert's beloved horse, Joey, who was conscripted to fight for the English in World War I. Tickets are on sale now.
War Horse is based on English author and Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo's award-winning novel. The book was also the inspiration for the theatrical production and Steven Spielberg's feature film of the same name, which earned six Oscar nominations including Best Picture. In a tale the New York Daily News calls "spellbinding, by turns epic and intimate," Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man's land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.
At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets designed by the Handspring Puppet Company, which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses and other animals to thrilling life on stage. Minnesota native Rob Laqui is one of the Joey puppeteers. The tour of War Horse, which was adapted from the book by Morpurgo by Nick Stafford, is directed by Bijan Sheibani based on the original Tony Award-winning direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company.
In addition to Best Play, War Horse received Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play (Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Rae Smith), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Paule Constable) and Best Sound Design of a Play (Christopher Shutt). A Special Tony Award was given to the Handspring Puppet Company for their integral work on the production.
War Horse had its world premiere in a limited engagement at the National Theatre of Great Britain's Olivier Theatre in 2007. It returned for a second run playing from 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End's New London Theatre in Spring 2009 where it continues to play an open-ended run. The American premiere was in spring 2011 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York's Lincoln Center. War Horse has been seen by over two million people worldwide and is currently playing in London's West End and at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre. Future productions of War Horse are planned for Australia, Berlin and South Africa, as well as a UK tour. The lead producers of the national tour of War Horse are Bob Boyett and the National Theatre of Great Britain.
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